Too many people think that great lighting is only for homeowners. Renters also deserve exceptional illumination, and they can have it with our simple guide to light for Colorado renters.

Colorado’s rental market is hot. The rest of the nation finally figured out that Colorado is an excellent place to live, and thousands of people rushed into our state, filling every available apartment and rental home. Fortunately, a decade-long price escalation in Colorado’s rental market leveled off toward the end of 2019. And while today’s rents aren’t exactly cheap, because of expanded apartment construction in city-close areas that were once un-trendy, there are more options and better deals. 


“There are some new light-rail stations that make a case for super-easy access to downtown Denver – things that are little cheaper than what you would find in LoDo but are still in up-and-coming areas.” – David Pierce, CoStar Group 


Colorado’s explosion of rental properties (and people) brings renter-specific challenges.

The lighting struggle is real for Colorado renters. 

Homeowners can take advantage of every trick in the book when it comes to lighting their homes, but renters run into unique challenges. Rental properties aren’t known for statement lighting, and rental agreements don’t often allow renters to make light fixture changes or put large holes in the walls. This means that renters nearly always get apartments with uninspired and less-than-flattering light, with shadows that make even the well-rested look desperate for a nap. 


Renters don’t have to settle for uninspired lighting. You can improve your rental home lighting with our Colorado renter’s guide to illumination.

1. Make the Most of table lamps and floor lamps.


Floor and table lamps are the easiest way to transform your space without worrying about losing a security deposit. And since style, color, and shade options are virtually endless, table lamps and floor lamps let you flex your design muscles. 


Use a mixture of lamps in contrasting shapes, styles, colors, and materials to add visual appeal and functionality to your space. For example, place a floor lamp on one side of your sofa, and a table lamp on the opposite side (atop an end table), to amplify the functionality, comfort, and visual appeal of your room. For even more impact, we like putting lamps in unexpected places, like a kitchen or bathroom. Don’t be afraid to experiment. 

2. Variety is the spice of life (and lighting).


The best living spaces feature a variety of light sources dispersed in a triangular pattern throughout the room and at different heights. We suggest that you use an array of table lamps, floor lamps, and ceiling fixtures to make your room feel more comfortable, eye-catching, and functional. And again, don’t be afraid to experiment! Beautifully designed spaces often use lighting in unexpected ways or exciting shapes and contrasting materials/finishes, to give a room that extra bit of elegance and flair. 

3. Adjust track lighting.


Renters often move into a new home or apartment and leave their track lighting positioned as-is. But the easiest thing you can do to improve rental home lighting is to adjust the tracks when you move in. Aim track heads to wash walls with light or illuminate work surfaces like kitchen counters, and don’t blind your family or guests with spots awkwardly directed at seating arrangements.

4. Use adapters.


You can convert unattractive track lighting and flush-mount fixtures into hanging pendants that match your style by using adapters. Most of the standard track lighting brands sell easy-to-use pendant adapters for this purpose. Keep in mind, you might have to wire a plug to the end of your pendant’s cord, and in some instances, swag the pendant a few inches (or more) from the track and drop the cable from a plant hook (it’s easier than it sounds). Pendants draw people’s eyes away from the track and to the fixtures themselves, and the best part? When you move out, you can take your pendants with you.

5. Sconces are still an option.


Your lease probably doesn’t allow you to hardwire a wall sconce. But, assuming that you can put a few holes in the wall (that you’ll patch later), wall sconces with a standard cord and plug that need no rewiring or drilling, are still an option. If you want to hide the cable, you can use wire mold painted to match your walls, or opt for an industrial look and leave the cord visible. Either way, you’ve taken your lighting from ho-hum to cool.

6. Don’t forget about form and function.


Function is crucial when selecting lights for your rental home or apartment, but don’t forget to tie everything together for a seamless look. Your lighting is no different than any other piece of furniture, and you can use different finishes and materials, like glass, wood, metal, or concrete, to tie your fixtures into the overall aesthetic of your rental property.

7. Use the right bulbs.


Once you have your rental home or apartment lighting fixtures sorted out, you need to make sure you’ve got the correct light bulbs. Opt for LED lights, and select bulbs with a color temperature of 2700k, to give your home a flattering warm glow (flattering to both your home and your guests).

Start your smart home journey! Visit one of our two convenient metro Denver locations to speak with a smart home lighting specialist.